PASS Summit 2008: Day 3

SQL Server 2008
Two speakers at the keynote. The first, some guy from Dell, whose name I didn't catch, presented a few slides on something. The second presenter was Dr. DeWitt. It was one of those moments where I realized just how stupid I was. This man was scary smart. Not only that, he was witty. He went over parallel databases, shared nothing servers, and related technologies. He drilled down and defined the problems around developing a database that does parallel data storage. It was amazing. I can't properly convey it (I'm flat out, not smart enough), but you should download that video and check it out. One of my favorite quotes from him was "Query Optimizers are fragile." Don't get him wrong. He praised the concept of optimizers, but he was pretty…
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PASS Board

PASS
The winners were the other guy, Lynda Rab and Andy Warren. Congratulations to all three. I lobbied hard for one of the three winners, Andy, so my special congratulations go out to him. On the back of my laptop, as I type this, is the logo (probably due for a law-suit soon) of the SQLBatman. He lost his second PASS election in a row. However, he came through like a trooper and says he's going to run again next year (go Susan Lucci, uh, I mean Tom).
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PASS Summit Day 2

PASS
I only half listened to the key notes. The party's the preceding night may have had something to do with it. First session was with Kalen Delaney on Plan Guides. She didn't really do plan guides though. Instead she talked about guiding plans. She is such a great presenter. I like her use of the language and precise definitions. Lubor Kollar (sp?) was in the room and made a point of standing up & addressing some of Kalen's info.  My best take away was that plan guides (she covered those too) do not reduce compile time and can in fact increase compile time. Second best was the use of plan guides as a mechanism for testing since you can apply the guide, enable & disable, without rewriting the proc. Sessions…
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PASS Summit Day 1

PASS
What a day. I'm not going to do justice to the keynote. First off, the room was frigging huge (not Tech-Ed huge, but enormous for PASS). It was pretty full too. The keynote wasn't terribly exciting, but it was terribly interesting. Watching 150tb databases process queries in less than 30 seconds is not something you see every day. Of more interest to me was the info on the new deployment mechanisms across database "fabrics" coming up with the new version of SQL Server (yes, it's at least two years away, but it's only two years away). It pretty clearly incorporates some of VSDB, but it's also a bit different. It includes data for example. This will be something for me to keep an eye on. My first session was with Allen White.…
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PASS Summit: Tuesday Night Parties

PASS
I visited at three. I went to the Opening Night Reception hosted by the SIGs of course. I kept score in the quiz bowl (I wasn't informed math would be involved). Nice enough party. It was a big room, but we mostly filled it up. Went over to the SQL Server Central party next. Steve still puts on a nice shindig. I tried finding other SQL Server Central posters, but didn't track any others down except for GilaMonster (Gail Shaw). I put all my money on the craps table, 30:1, a single roll of the dice. I guess there is a reason those odds are so high. I had an invite to the Solid Quality Mentors party, so I went over there. It was a little overly crowded (I almost…
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Pass Volunteer Training 2008 – Part 2

PASS
Next year is going to be in Seattle again... Argggh! Another six hour flight. More jet lag. YUCK! Money review. Yawn. But you'd be horrified how much all this stuff costs at the convention center. BTW, I'm pretty excited to be presenting. I know someone else who pointed at their ribbons and said "The only ones that count are MVP and Speaker." I feel the same way about my Speaker ribbon (I don't have the other one). More so because, of 70 or so available slots, more than 500 abstracts were submitted. If you want to thank any particular set of volunteers, I'd go for the program committee. They bust butt. Of course, if your abstract didn't get picked, you might not be too happy with those guys, but look at what…
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PASS Volunteer Training 2008 – Part 1

PASS
While it's called training, the PASS volunteer "day" is much more a report on the current status of the organization and planning for the next year. Today we had good start. Pat Wright went over the org chart, something new to PASS volunteers this year. Kevin Kline went over the history of the organization, including a few stories (ask him about escorting an attendee off site because of way too public a display of self-love). Lots of interesting information has come out. PASS is run under international rules as a non-profit which requires it to maintain ~20% of it's operating expenses in the bank. Regional conferences are under consideration (although, as was pointed out, internationally, they're already underway). The C&C management company performs the day-to-day operations above & beyond what…
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Report from the PASS Volunteer Party

PASS
I am not here to name names. The organization threw a nice party at a local bowling alley. A lot of fun was had by all. I finally got to shake hands with Gail Shaw. She's almost as tall as I am. My bowling game has seriously deteriorated over the years. Today, the conference gets started for real for me. All day sessions with the PASS organization.  I promise, from here on out the posts will get a lot more interesting. From talking to a lot of people, I understand that Brian Knight's presentation on SSIS, which included a Drug Dealers Datawarehouse or something, was the one to miss. Unfortunately, I missed it. I think there'll be a video of it on the PASS web site.
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